President hails "new partnership" with Senegal
Senegal – Bilateral relations/fight against terrorism/climate – Statements by M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, in his joint declaration with Mr Macky Sall, President of Senegal
Paris, 12 June 2017
First of all I wanted to thank President Macky Sall for his visit, a few hours before this G20-format meeting with several African heads of state, and tell him how happy I am today to welcome him here, before we see each other again in a few weeks’ time.
I’m delighted, because our two countries maintain extremely strong relations, not only thanks to history but also to a new, rebalanced partnership and many projects for the future that we spoke about during our discussion.
Why? Because today we’re facing common challenges, and they were the ones we raised first of all. The challenge of terrorism, fundamentalism, and many regional imbalances that President Macky Sall and I are following very closely.
Terrorism and destabilization in Africa
Here I want to reiterate the major role Senegal plays and has played in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel. Senegal has stood by us from the outset. I haven’t forgotten that the first units of Operation Serval were deployed from Senegal, and that Senegal – already strongly committed – will in the coming weeks become the main contributor to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali. And in this respect, we both know the price of this commitment for our armed forces, for our soldiers’ lives.
We also share the same strong belief: that the resolute and long-term mobilization of players in the region will enable us to drive back the terrorist threat irreversibly. In this regard, in addition to the different formats existing today, my wish is for France to be able to continue, on the one hand, these strategic, military and security exchanges with Senegal and, on the other hand, to also continue working with the Economic Community of West African States, as well as any regional forums that may be organized, in which we also participate.
We also discussed the fight against destabilization – this challenge we share –, mentioning in particular the case of Guinea-Bissau and our shared desire to contribute to stabilization and do everything to ensure that, in the region itself, the necessary elements exist for that stability, which is essential for Senegal.
The second challenge we share is the fight against global warming and climate change. Our two countries have reaffirmed our commitment to the Paris Agreement and our determination to act together. It’s an extraordinarily important challenge which we’ll confirm in the different diplomatic forums through our resolute joint action and through the action we’ll be taking in our countries and regions.
Development and cooperation
Beyond these global and regional challenges, our two countries are engaged in an extremely strong bilateral relationship which we’d like to continue strengthening – first of all through resolute action on education, training and the fight against fundamentalism. What prevents the emergence of terrorism and all forms of destabilization is a policy of development, a policy of consolidation. France is strongly committed to this, in particular through the French Development Agency and our cooperation activities.
We’d like to go further and organize with Senegal a strong initiative on education, and we’ll continue this in the coming weeks and months. We’d also like economic cooperation to be stepped up. Senegal is enjoying absolutely remarkable growth which demonstrates the solidity and attractiveness of the Senegalese economy. We have several urban transport projects that are at an advanced stage.
I’m thinking of the Dakar regional express train, which has just been launched, and the President’s personal commitment on this, which I welcome. I’m also thinking of our projects in energy and civil aviation – with the prospect of the airline Air Senegal being relaunched –, digital technology and defence, which are very important in my view and which we’ll continue to promote.
We were talking a moment ago about the Paris Agreement. There are also renewable energy projects which I’d like us to strongly encourage and develop together, because they will translate this political commitment we both share into action.
In all these areas, this, for me, is the spirit of the new partnership we embody and want to develop – a balanced partnership which allows Senegal to succeed and the Senegalese people to have more jobs, more growth, more security and a better education, and which fully engages civil society and private-sector players on both sides.
It’s in this spirit that I’d like us to continue deepening and increasing our cooperation together and the future relationship between Senegal and France.
Mr President, thank you again for being here today; you can count on me being personally involved in pursuing this./.